“The Galapagos of the East” and ”Japan’s Last Land of Mystery,” Take a Trip to Iriomote Island
Okinawa main island being the largest, Iriomote island is the second largest island out of all the Ryukyu Islands.
The circumference of the island is 130 kilometers, and more than 90% of the island is covered with subtropical forest. It is also the sanctuary to rare animals and plants such as the Iriomote yamaneko (Iriomote wildcat) and the kanmuri washi (crested serpent eagle).
The jungle cruise is an attraction you definitely have to try when you visit Iriomote Island.
Cruise through Okinawa’s longest river, “Urauchikawa,” and enjoy the great nature of Iriomote Island.
It’s a fairly enjoyable cruise and you can see the “Gunkan Iwa” (battleship shaped rock) just 30 minutes downstream. We also recommend getting off the cruise boat to go “Jungle Forest Trekking.”
The mountain road to the “Kanbire Waterfall,” selected as one of “Japan’s Top 100 Waterfalls,” is very well developed. It is about a 50 minute walk, a little long, but you will be able to get there without wandering off into the wilderness.
Walk through the jungle and listen to the birds chirping. You might enjoy the view of nature different from what is seen from the boat cruise.
During the walk, you might be able to see the “Sakishima-suo Tree” (Sakishima Sappanwood Tree, Heritiera littoralis), a huge tree known as the “Lord of the Jungle.”
The main characteristic of this tree is that it has winding sheet-like roots.
Urauchikawa Jungle Cruise Tour
-about 1 hour
Urauchikawa Jungle Cruise + Waterfall Trekking Tour
-about 3 hours
If you ever visit Iriomote Island, there is a flower we want you to see.
That flower is the Sagaribana (Barringtonia), and means “luck comes over” and ”brings good fortune” in the language of flowers.
It is a very rare flower because it blooms for only a few days out of the whole year. Furthermore, it blooms only at night and falls to the ground the next morning.
If you go to the tributary of Urauchi Gawa at daybreak, you might be able to see a tunnel and carpet of Sagaribana if you are lucky enough.
If you smell a sweet scent from the morning mist near the river’s surface, remember that it’s the scent of the Sagaribana.
Early Morning Cruise and Barringtonia Viewing Tour
-about 2 hours
-departs at 6am
Access to Iriomote Island
A 40 minute ferry ride from Ishigaki Part Remote Island Terminal to Iriomote-jima Uehara Port.
You can take a courtesy car provided by the Urauchikawa Tour or a courtesy bus provided by the ferry company from Uehara Port.
Those going on the early morning tour will have to stay the night before. It is possible to arrange a courtesy ride to and from the tour site with advanced reservations.
Tours Introduced In This Article
Urauchikawa Jungle Cruise Tour/Urauchikawa Jungle Cruise + Waterfall Trekking Tour (Urauchikawa Kanko)
Explore the subtropical forest on a jungle cruise boat.
Feel the pleasant breeze and power of mother nature! 《Schedule》 ■Urauchikawa Jungle Cruise Tour (Duration: About 1 hour) Boat dock (downstream) → Cruising (30 minutes) → Boat dock (ups…
《6/20-7/20 Only》 Early Morning Cruise and Barringtonia Viewing Tour (Urauchikawa Kanko)
Sagaribaha “Barringtonia” blooms only for a few hours, at night, once a year.
Our canoe tour takes you into the flower tunnel…
Fallen flowers floating on the water is worth seeing.
Don’t miss the chance! 《Schedule》 6:00AM Boat dock (downstream) 6:15AM Boat dock (midstream) 6:20AM – 7:00PM Cruising Shinmata river 7:05AM Boat dock (midstream) …